Søren Kierkegaard: Frygt og baeven [Fear and Trembling]

(1885 words)
  • William McDonald

Fear and Trembling [Frygt og Bæven] was published on 16 October 1843 - the same day as Kierkegaard published Repetition and Three Edifying Discourses. It is published under the pseudonym Johannes de Silentio (John of Silence) and has the subtitle “Dialectical Lyric”. The text bears the following epigraph from J.G. Hamann: “What Tarquinius Superbus said in the garden by means of the poppies, the son understood but the messenger did not”. Tarquinius had cut the heads off the tallest poppies with his cane, thereby communicating to his son that he was to kill the leading citizens of Gabii.

Fear and Trembling is an indirect communication, by an ironist using loquacious s…

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McDonald, William. "Frygt og baeven". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 March 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5015, accessed 29 May 2015.]